HVAC System Basics for New Homeowners
Well done on buying your first home! You are certainly thrilled with your investment, although you might feel overwhelmed by all your new responsibilities. Now that you’re a homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to take care of all your home’s appliances and utilities, such as the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you’ve ever had with a furnace or air conditioner is to use the thermostat, you have plenty to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system suggestions for first-time homeowners.
Know the Different Elements of an HVAC System
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in an idyllic climate, your new home most likely has this system to keep you warm in the winter and cool throughout the summer. Here are the basic parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort equipment, like an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few possibilities.
- Ductwork attached to return and supply registers in the case of air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems like boilers.
- Indoor air quality solutions, including an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor temperature control.
Appreciate the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were a renter, the landlord probably took care of HVAC maintenance tasks such as replacing the air filter. They may or may not have also handled the bill for detailed heating and cooling inspections.
Now that you’re responsible for this, you can give preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, complete these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
- Change the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Gently hose down the outdoor unit and cut back vegetation to improve airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to sustain proper system balance.
Then, schedule annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only a qualified professional can complete in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and measuring air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following perks when you hire a professional to inspect your system every year:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- More affordable repair bills
- Enhanced home comfort
- Expanded system life span
- Peace of mind
Look Out for Signs of Trouble
Repairing and replacing the HVAC system is the homeowner’s job. Watch for these signals that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling professional:
- Excessive noise: Don’t neglect a squealing, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It could be a cry for help from your furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality problems: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and moldy odors are often tied to defective HVAC equipment.
- Reduced energy efficiency: Are your bills suddenly on the rise? This can mean your heating and cooling system isn’t functioning properly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical systems, HVAC systems inevitably give out. The standard life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps run about a decade.
Learn More About the HVAC Replacement Process
If the damaged furnace or air conditioner can’t be fixed, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC professional’s help. Here’s how that works:
- Explain the problem to your technician and let them take a closer look at it more in-depth.
- The technician should diagnose the problem and offer possible solutions. A repair could be feasible, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
- You can secure numerous opinions and estimates from available contractors if you want.
- When you work with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a residential sales consultant will determine what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is best for you.
- The technician will provide a written estimate describing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the final cost. You should also be given details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation once you figure out what system you want. The technician will handle everything, including hauling away the old equipment for safe disposal.
- The sales consultant can review the new system with you, describing how to use it, answering any questions and offering all the necessary documentation.
Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing
If you have questions about these HVAC system guidelines, don’t wait Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We prioritize customer education to help you make an informed decision about your home comfort system. Our team is proficient in a full array of HVAC services, so turn to us for anything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more information or to ask about an estimate, please get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.
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